The Show Must Go On – News Feature Follow-Up Story

The Show Must Go On

On the opening night of “She Kills Monsters,” a play produced by the Theatre Department of Seton Hill University (SHU), tickets were completely sold out. Director Steve Wilson sat in the audience during the second showing last Saturday night.

Wilson said, “The play came along quite nicely. I am happy with the way it turned out.”

Layne Bailey, who plays Agnes Evans, a Dungeons and Dragons gamer, said, “I absolutely love being a part of this production. It has everything I could possibly hope for: drama, foul language, adventure, sarcasm, epic monster battles, friendship, strength, courage, love and most important, fun.”

“Tonight went very smoothly with hardly any hiccups! We continue to work off each other very well, despite the fact that I have never worked with most of these people before and we have only been rehearsing since February,” said Katelynn Reist, who plays the deceased younger sister, Tilly Evans.

“We, as a cast, have connected so quickly within the short rehearsal time, and I think it really showed on stage tonight and last night,” according to Bailey.

Unlike Friday, Saturday’s audience did not fill all the seats in the theatre but it did not cause the cast to falter.

“No matter the size of the audience, the play is still intimate between the cast and its audience. Plus, with the seats surrounding most of the stage, there is nowhere to hide. It’s a challenge being so close to your audience because you have to stay focused; otherwise, they notice when you stray off,” said Elena Falgione, who plays Tilly’s girlfriend, Lilith, in the Dungeons and Dragons game.

Some people found the play to be too much when it came to exploring sexuality.

“When I had to kiss Tilly, I noticed that a couple got up and left. Our director asked them what happened, but they refused to comment. We could tell they had a problem with the lesbian relationship between Lilith and Tilly,” said Falgione.

Reist said, “You have to keep acting despite what the audience might do. It’s part of the job.”

Not only was sexuality examined in the play but so was comedy. The audience, who was mostly around twenty years or older, received the jokes of the play with laughter. The foul language and sexual puns were intended for an older audience.

Bailey said, “I cannot help but laugh at the content of the play sometimes. This show has been an absolute joy to be a part of and I am going to miss it very much.”

“In regards to the laughter, we never expect a laugh. We like to hear laughs from the audience but reactions in general are more of a reward. We want to earn it,” said Falgione.

Even after only two shows, the production is receiving a good vibe that is sweeping across the SHU campus.

Kayla DiPaolo, a criminal justice major at SHU, said, “I had no interest in seeing the play because I never heard or read it before, but my friends told me that it is laugh-out-loud funny. So, I decided to get tickets for next weekend.”

The play has received positive reviews overall and the cast only wants to keep that momentum going.

Bailey said, “As the shows continue, it seems that we only get better.”

“As much as I have enjoyed myself during this play and enjoyed working with the cast, my purpose is to make the audience think. As an actor, making the audience react and think fulfills our purpose as artists, and so far, we have done just that,” said Falgione.

The Monsters are Coming to Seton Hill (News Feature Advance)

The Monsters are Coming to Seton Hill

The Seton Hill Theatre Department will close the school year with the play “She Kills Monsters” this weekend at the Performing Arts Center.

This nerdy comedy production is about an older sister, Agnes Evans, playing Dungeons and Dragons to learn about her deceased younger sister, Tilly Evans.

“I have played D&D for quite some time, so this play is something I can really connect with,” said Katelynn Reist, who plays Tilly, “I have never played a character quite like Tilly. She has so many different character traits and things for me to work with.”

“The play has come along smoothly,” said Steven Wilson, the director, “As soon as I heard Reist read Tilly’s part, I knew I wanted her for the role.”

Kristina Riggans, a theatre major at Seton Hill University, said, “I thought that Reist and Layne Bailey, who plays Agnes, would have been casted for the opposite roles because of their personalities, but I think they will do well.”

“She Kills Monsters” will run this weekend from Friday to Sunday and next weekend from Thursday to Sunday as well. Tickets are sold at the box office for $16, with student and group rates available.

Live coverage of the event will be on available on Sunday at http://blogs.setonhill.edu/daniellekravits/.

News Article Pictures – “She Kills Monsters” Event (Fight Call)

IMG_1606IMG_1632 IMG_1638 IMG_1624 IMG_1628 IMG_1625 IMG_1602

 

 

I chose to write a News Feature on the play production of ‘She Kills Monsters’. However, no one is permitted to take live pictures of the play during a production, so I asked the stage manager, Jayme Martin, if I could sit in on a rehearsal to take some pictures. Martin allowed me to come to the Fight Call, which was on the Wednesday before opening night. Fight Call is when the actors practice their fight scenes of the play for thirty minutes without costumes. There was no audience, and the fight director advised them when they would make a mistake. The pictures above were taken during Fight Call.

Resume and Cover Letter Materials

After reading the provided links, I have the overall impression that its not necessarily what you do but how you say it and how you try to sell it to get the job. Its all about persuasion. There was advice on how to sell yourself, like say “If you hire me, you’ll get a hard working employee,” but don’t say “I always wanted this job because its my dream job.” The first quote is more about your work ethic, rather than just stating something you wish. An employer wont hire you based on the fact that you always wanted a job like this, but rather someone who has the ability to do the job the best way it can be done. I think another important point is that you have to “show, not tell” in your resume and your interview, because saying you are a good listener and are determined is so broad. You have to have examples as to why, so like say “I worked extra hours at my last job to help the project progress faster.” Give proof rather than broad positives about yourself. I feel that if you order your jobs, activities, awards, etc. in the wrong way, it can persuade the employer. I think it is important to get a couple of people to review a resume so that people give their opinion on which order/wording looks best. You want to appear to be the best for the job, so why not perfect your resume?

via Resume and Cover Letter Materials.

She Kills Monsters

Even though I enjoyed the play, I thought the concept of her learning about her sister was rushed. Given 71 pages and the fact that we did not read what their relationship was like before (it is only briefly mentioned in passing), I feel like the story is lacking. If we knew their relationship before, it might give more substance to the story. I think the concept of including actual battling was good because it literally forces the two sisters to be closer. They have to make quick decisions, and act on instinct, and when they did, their initial instinct was to protect each other. Maybe that is why the story could be achieved in 71 pages, they can’t dwell on their feelings in a fight scene, they have to act fast.

Also, it was unexpected that Agnes was going to react so emotionally to Lilith’s death; I thought there would have been a scene where Tilly or Agnes was in danger so the other sister would rescue the other one. However, Agnes’s emotional reaction to Lilith’s death, someone who didn’t really like her and vice versa, shows that Agnes cares if Tilly is effected, whether it be physically or mentally. I found it unsavory that Agnes does end up with Miles in the end. Does the fact that he cares enough to play the game change their relationship? Does Tilly’s death bring them closer? Because it is mentioned that Agnes does not really tell Miles that much about her family and her sister; she keeps to herself. Tilly advises Agnes that she should not be with Miles and so does Vera. So why would the author have Agnes and Miles end up together? On a side note, I thought Vera was funny, because of how blunt she was and she was the voice of reason in the play.

Overall, I thought the play was rushed, but its nice to see that a text was written about the relationship of two sisters. You see in movies all the time about love relationships, and it tends to get old. I just wanted to know why Tilly used the game to be herself. The players in the game play because they can imagine themselves doing something they can’t. For Tilly, she can be with Lilith, and even though, it was complicated between her and Lilly, I feel like her reasoning behind playing that game was solely for that reason. I think the author should have focused on the fact of identity rather than just her sexuality. Or is the author doing both? I just felt like the play was rushed, but I really enjoyed it.

via She Kills Monsters.

Portfolio 4 – American Literature

Depth: One post that I went more in-depth than usual was for Act 2 of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”. At the end of the play, Loomis kills himself to start a new life and I analyzed what that scene could have meant. I also compared Loomis to Jesus and talked about how Bynum says that Loomis was ‘shining’ in the end. Wilson does not directly say what he means by the actions of his characters, so I wrote a lot about what I thought it meant and it took awhile to explain my thoughts, which explains the length of the post. Another assignment where I went in depth was when I did Exercise 5: Oral Interpretation. I fulfilled the requirement time, so in terms of depth, I mean how I altered my voice interpretation from the last oral exercise. Last time, I did an oral interpretation of The Great Gatsby and I did not change my voice when I switched to a different character; I just changed the pitch and tone of my voice to show how the characters felt. However, this time around I went more in depth and improved by choosing another scene with multiple characters but instead I used a higher, whiny voice for the woman and a low, deep voice for the man. Now, when listening, I hope the listeners do not get as confused if they do not have the text in front of them.

Riskiness: The post that I wrote for Act one of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” was not very in depth, and I basically summarized and asked questions about the play, which, to me, is a safe post. I did not analyze anything or go beyond my comfort zone in anyway.

However, one risky post where I stepped outside of my comfort zone for writing was the one for Act 2 of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”. I made a logical analysis about Loomis’s decision to kill himself and why Bynum claimed that he was ‘shining’. Also, Bynum said in the beginning of the play that to find the secret of life, you need to find the shiny man, and so based on the ‘shining’ Loomis, I made a logical guess on what the secret of life was as well, according to Wilson. This was risky because Wilson does not come out and say what his main messages are, so we, as readers, have to decipher on our what they are. Another assignment that I completed that seemed risky to me was Exercise 4: Oral Interpretation because I did not know if I could say that Plath created the structure of her poem for the intention that I mentioned in my SoundCloud. I, obviously, cannot assume that a writer wrote for a particular reason, because I do not know why any author wrote for the reasons they did, or what they intended in their writing. I think it all depends on how I word the statement, because If I say Plath intended to “blah blah”, that would be wrong. But if I said Plath’s structure relates to her themes because “blah blah” that would sound better. Another post that I would say that is risky is what I suggested for the creative project. I am going to do a scene from The Great Gatsby, probably the one where Tom and Gatsby are fighting in the parlor about Daisy because that one would be more tricky with so many people involved and how to make each character react. I have never managed so many people at once and I have never recorded a scene so this is definitely out of my element. I will have to set a lot of time aside to make this happen.

Intertextuality: My Exercise 4: Oral Interpretation for a scholarly analysis of a poem definitely fulfills this category because I had to use an outside source from Reeves Library to analyze the poem I chose: “Daddy”. The source said that Plath, the poet, focuses mainly on her themes, such as death, to illustrate her messages. She also uses intertextuality, such as key events that were going on during the time, to add to her message. The source said nothing about her structure of the poem, which does not have any in “Daddy”. The syllables of each line are not matched in a pattern, nor is there any rhyme. So, I made the analysis that Plath’s structure of her poem goes along with her themes, because her themes, such as death and humanity, are so complex that she cannot assign one structure to such a complex issue. The outside source helped me see analyze the poem because I learned something about her writing.  Another assignment that fulfills this category is the previous portfolio that we had to do, Portfolio 3. Each category had at least two hyperlinks to go to my writing in either my blog or Canvas. The portfolio cannot be completed without the work I do in class, and by completing it, I can see whether or not I improved from the last portfolio. The portfolios help me stay on track about how analytical my writing is toward the texts we read and enforce me to have discussions with my peers, which is good for this class, because we never physically meet. The sources I use of my own for the portfolio help me see my overall progress.

Discussion: After Exercise 3, we had to give feedback to three of our classmates and we also received feedback from peers as well. From the feedback I got, I learned that if I choose a passage that has multiple characters, I should make up different voices for them to clarify who is speaking. My peers said they got confused on who was talking because I would use my own voice for all three characters. Also, I learned from listening to my peers’ work and commenting on it that you have to choose a piece of work that provokes emotion; otherwise, you are merely reading the text without interpreting it with your voice. Some of my peers read a piece for about two minutes, but for most of the time, they talked about their analysis, rather than letting their voice do it for them. I learned that your voice’s tone and pitch can express an interpretation; you do not need to always say your analysis. There are different ways of expressing interpretation. Another assignment that I created that involved a lot of discussion was my idea for the creative project that I posted on Canvas. I suggested to do a scene from The Great Gatsby and gave two options: when Gatsby and Daisy reunite or when Tom and Gatsby are fighting in the parlor about Daisy. My peers showed more interest in the second scene and gave me some advice and asked some questions, which furthered my thoughts on the idea.

Timeliness: A response that I posted extra early was for Act 1 of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”. I posted early because the act was pretty long and I wanted to make sure that I had enough time to read it and respond. I asked a few questions and discussed some of the relationships in the play, but did not make any analyses that were noteworthy. I also posted the response to Act 2 pretty early as well, because I wanted to read it to understand what happened to Loomis in the end of the first act. Loomis experienced a spiritual hallucination and the tension of the boarding house was growing because of Loomis’s suspicious demeanor. With the extra time from posting early, I was able to make some decent analyses about the play in the second post.

Coverage: One assignment that I did that was on time an complete was my idea for my term paper. I decided to write about the American Dream, since that is a common theme that comes up during this literary period. I want to focus on The Glass Menagerie, but maybe include The Great Gatsby if need be, because the play is so short. Plus, both texts back up the negative connotation of the theme. I just was not sure about my question, which I will have to talk to Dr. Jerz about later on. Another assignment that I completed on time was the optional Exercise 5: Oral Interpretation. I really love The Glass Menagerie, so I wanted to do part of a scene from it. I chose Scene 3, where Tom and Amanda are fighting right before he breaks Laura’s glass. I think that I improved with my voice because last time, in Ex. 3, there were several characters and I used my original voice for all of the characters, which was confusing if you were not following along. But this time, I decided to fluctuate my voice by using a deep voice for Tom and a high, whiny voice for Amanda. I am actually pretty proud of how this came out, but I still think I stumbled on a few words.

Cover Post/Conclusion: The course syllabus says that we are to examine a variety of different genres, which I believe that I did. We read a few more plays, which helped me become more familiar with their structure. Also, this time around, we did more assignments on Canvas, which allowed me to work on my discussion, riskiness, and intertextuality categories. With the term paper and creative project coming up, I had to become more inventive and risky because both assignments require original thought. I think this portfolio shows that this is the riskiest section so far because of those two major assignments. We have to look over all that we have read so far and find a connection with outside sources. I am not sure about my term paper question, so I, for sure, have to speak with Dr. Jerz about it. My creative project idea will be challenging because I have to recruit a lot of people and I have to manage all of their parts at once. I still need to work on my discussion category but my intertextuality and riskiness ones have improved. My overall goal for the course was to become more analytical and improving in those two categories helps with analyzing because they help me make more connections as a reader and a writer.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Act 2

Loomis kills himself in the end because he sees that he has been resurrected; he realizes that he can truly live a life worth living by starting new one because Martha says he does not need him anymore, she only wanted Zonia. Martha convinced herself that Loomis was dead so that she could move on and start her own life that didn’t involve sorrow and stress. Loomis was in search for her for years and the moment he sees her, she is almost unfazed because  she has already moved on. I think the ending by killing himself shows that he will start a new life, one that does not involve Martha and the sorrow that she has caused by her disappearance. Personally, I think Martha’s ‘new life’ was more noble in the sense that she stayed in reality and did not kill herself and let the problem overtake her. She reacted in a rational way. Loomis, on the other hand, kills himself, which seems pretty rash considering that he could have left and forgotten about his wife and daughter. Or was his sorrow too much for him to even think about a life without them? The afterlife, even depending on our beliefs, we do not know for certain what will happen or where we will go or whether or not we will actually go anywhere. I think that his action was rash, but in a sense, justified because his sorrow was so painful from all of the years of searching for Martha.

Bynum shouts at the end that Loomis is shining and in the beginning of the play, he was told to look for a shiny man to find the secret of life. Since Loomis was covered in blood from slashing himself, does he emulate the sight of Jesus on the cross? Both events caused each man to resurrect into a new life and they both sacrificed themselves for a certain cause. Jesus’s cause was selfless because it allowed us to sin, but Loomis’s action was more selfish because it allowed him to create a new life for himself; his action did not help anyone else like Jesus’s action did. I think they are similar in the sense of resurrection but nothing more than that. I think Bynum says he is shining because he found his own way in the world. Up until his death, Loomis was living a confused and sad life because of the hallucinations and Martha’s disappearance (the two might not be unrelated). At the point of his death, he has the realization of what his life should be according to him. The Secret of Life is that to live a fulfilling life, you need to find your place in the world; to find happiness. And to find that is different for each person. Loomis’s action worked for him, it might not work for everyone.

via Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Act 2.

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Act 1

After reading the end of Act 1, I am confused on what happened to Loomis. Did a spiritual ghost or something supernatural overtake his body? I have read another Wilson play called “A Piano Lesson” and Wilson dabbles in supernatural forces in that play. So, I would not put it past Wilson that that is what happened with Loomis at the end of the act. He is said to be seen at the church a lot so he is surrounded by religious/spiritual forces/ghosts (if you believe in that type of thing, but for this play, you have to believe in it), and so it makes sense that a force or a ghost would overtake him because he is surrounded by them at church. In “A Piano Lesson”, the supernatural force occurred at the end of the play, so the reader did not see how it affected the characters after the scene because the play ended. But this will be interesting to see how Wilson explains or illustrates what happened to Loomis.

I find it interesting how fast relationships seem to develop in these times. Mattie has just been left by her boyfriend, Jack Carper, for no reason, and it does say that she is ready to be committed to love. So does that mean her relationship to this new guy is just a fling? I think this guy is definitely her rebound. But Bynum and Jeremy seem to pounce on anything that has legs. Does that show that they are shallow or was that just how it was back then? Seth and Bertha seem to have the typical old, gabbing, fighting marriage. However, it seems like they really do have a strong relationship and they work well together. I honestly thought that Seth’s obsession with Loomis was over the top and exaggerated because I thought nothing was strange about Loomis until the end of act 1. But before then, I agreed with Bertha: Loomis seemed to be just concerned about finding his wife and Seth was just overreacting. But then I was proven wrong by his episode at the end of act 1. However, my lingering question is who is Joe Turner? He was briefly mentioned but what relationship does he have to the Loomis family and why would that cause Martha to leave?

via Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Act 1.

Portfolio 3 – Intro to Literary Study

Depth: One of my longest posts was on Othello Act V. It was easy to go in-depth at this point of the play because it was the end, which allowed me to make some analyses. I talked about Othello’s love for Desdemona, Othello and Emilia as heroes, and Emilia’s interest in Desdemona. I came back to this post and added more because I thought it was worth talking about Emilia’s interest in Desdemona, because no one has brought up that perspective/thought before, as far as I know. Another post that was in-depth was the blog I made about Othello Act 1. I decided to come back to this post and compare Shakespeare’s plays and August Wilson’s plays because their structures are very different. Once I started talking about that, I kept finding differences that led me to write a long post.

Riskiness: One safe post of mine was when we had to post about the class discussion when Dr. Jerz was gone. This was a safe post because I merely repeated what was discussed in class about Othello. I did not make any in-depth analyses about the text, which made this post pretty bland.

However, a risky creation of mine was the News Profile Revision that I wrote about Paula Florez, which definitely made me step outside of my comfort zone. I would say this is a risky assignment that I completed because I have never done a news article before, so it was a totally different approach to writing. I think I did pretty good for trying it the first time and I also added more riskiness to it by getting not one, but two, other people to add onto Paula’s story. Incorporating their quotes in the article and finding the main message of the piece was tricky. Another risky assignment of mine was the Short Story Revision. I am used to reading and analyzing a text, not creating one of my own. So, naturally, when I heard this assignment, I freaked out because I am a writer that gets right to the point. I prove what I am trying to say without trying to make my writing look fancy, and writing a story is all about elaborating and painting a picture for the reader, which came to be a huge struggle for me. This was probably the riskiest assignment I have ever done for this class.

Intertextuality: This part of the semester for this portfolio is probably my best for this category so far because of the trouble I went through to do my News Profile Revision. I interviewed Paula Florez about her transition to college and the cultural differences between Colombia and the United States. I also interviewed Hanna Marks and Bre Novosel, two other students here at SHU, to learn more about Paula’s transition. I utilized three sources to create a solid paper for the News Profile assignment. The other assignment that fits into this category is my Short Story Revision. I chose to write about a nurse that feels under appreciated and to do so, I had to look up certain medical terms to make my paper more accurate. Dr. Jerz commented on my draft that I needed some medical terminology, and so I included some, which made the paper flow better and made the paper make more sense. For example, the baby mentioned in the paper has a hemorrhage in the brain which comes with certain symptoms and I would not have known that if I did not look it up. I utilized outside sources, which helped me satisfy the intertextuality category.

Discussion: I was confused by some of the actions of the characters in the beginning of Othello, which made me ask some questions on my post. Maddie and Esther replied to my questions and allowed me to see that secondhand knowledge and gullibility are key aspects in this play. Our discussion showed that Shakespeare’s plays are more in-depth and complex than we sometimes think. Another post that contributes to this category was my post for Act V for Othello. Esther commented on my post by disagreeing with the idea that Othello loves Desdemona. She gave her reasons and I commented back by proving that he actually does love her. I found it interesting that she did not think he loved her because I think the whole urgency of the play is dependent on their love for each other.

Timeliness: I have been pretty good about turning assignments and blog in on time. For example, I blogged about Othello Act IV early, which allowed for Esther and Maddie to comment on my post. Their comments reassured me that I was on the right track when understanding the play, in terms of Roderigo’s and Iago’s relationship and Iago’s plan overall. Another post when I blogged early was for the page we had to read about Shakespeare’s writing. It said that his writing usually confuses people for one of three reasons that were provided. I said in my post that the syntax, for me, makes his writing hard to understand. I read this early because it caught my attention and it made me feel better that trying to understand his writing is a universal trouble, not just a struggle that I encountered.

Coverage: A post that I did on time but was not my best work was for Othello Act III. I basically summarized Iago’s character and asked a few questions about the plot, and Maddie and Esther commented on my post. It was definitely not my best work, but it was completed. Another post that was not my greatest, but I did on time and is complete is the post for About Shakespeare’s Othello. Here, I talked about how interesting that in times back then, they did not have extravagant props, the play was based on how the characters preformed. It has been awhile since I learned about Shakespeare’s background so I made an assumption about the plays that wasn’t true, and Dr. Jerz corrected me on it. It helped me remember how his plays worked.

Cover Post / Conclusion: While doing this portfolio, I learned that we could incorporate assignments that we did for Canvas, not just our blogs, which really helped with my intertextuality category. For my Canvas activities that I mentioned previously, I had to find several outsides sources, which made my papers even better. If I knew that I could use Canvas activities awhile ago, I think I could have showed Dr. Jerz that I did better than I originally thought for intertextuality. With fewer blogs required, less books to read, and more Canvas assignments, I am expanding on how to write. We did a story and an article, and the story helped me to be more creative and expand on being more descriptive, and the article helped me learn how to get to the point right away and not include my opinion. The course syllabus says that one of the goals is to examine different genres and even though the article and story are not necessarily genres for us TO READ, but instead to create on our own, I still expanded on different genres because I have never written an article or a story of my own. This exposure to outside sources and new genres I was able to more analytical, which my overall goal to get out of this course. I want to be able to look at texts from more perspectives than I could previously at the beginning of the semester, because it will make more rounded as a reader and writer and it makes me more analytical. Also, we read a play by Shakespeare and reading his works are a challenge all on its own, so I experienced the fact that not only analyzing the text can be the problem, understanding the language can also be a struggle. If we had more of Shakespeare to read, I am sure I would get used to his language with practice. I think I have made progress from my last portfolio because I have improved upon my analytical skills by incorporating more sources for my writing.